Criminals: My Family's Life on Both Sides of the Law (Paperback)
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"An engrossing, highly readable memoir in essays about growing up in New York in the 1970s . . . T]his is a tender portrait of family dysfunction." --Booklist The Siegels of New York are a singular creation--quirky, idealistic, shaped in large part by Siegel's father, a lovable, impossible man of gargantuan appetites and sloppy ethics, a criminal defense attorney who loved his drug-dealing clients a little too much and went to prison as a result. Siegel's mother decided to pour her energies into making her children refined, art-loving mavens of fine dining in international settings--all the things that his father was not--with Robert as her most targeted ally. Once out of prison, Siegel's father struggled with depression, attempting to re-enter legal practice, with age and finances nipping at his heels. Robert, as a son and later as an author, attempts to put all of these pieces together to make a coherent shape of family before realizing perhaps no such thing exists. Where is the thin, permeable line between right and wrong? How does one family join the greater world of normal people beyond the demimonde of drug dealers, bikers, schemers, rock musicians, and artists that swirled around them? Criminals explores those questions without easy judgements, creating a prism of an eccentric collection of characters bound together as the mysterious tribe of family.
About the Author
Robert Anthony Siegel is the author of two novels, All the Money in the World and All Will Be Revealed. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, The Paris Review, Oxford American, and Tin House, among other venues. Siegel has been a Fulbright Scholar at Tunghai University in Taiwan and a Monbukagakusho Fellow at the University of Tokyo in Japan. Other awards include O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Copernicus Society of America.